mma / Columns

Simply MMA: UFC – 8 David vs Goliath

February 27, 2010 | Posted by Jamie Meikle

Well folks, I fucked up. Last week I reviewed Ultimate Japan, thinking that it was the UFC’s first international show. Well I was wrong. The UFC did venture outside the US one year earlier and the result was this show, UFC 8 from San Juan, Puerto Rico. So I thought I’d go back and review this show for the sake of it.

So here it is my review of the VERY first UFC event outside the US.

The card features the one night ‘David vs Goliath’ tournament that includes the UFC debuts of Gary Goodridge and Don Frye. Plus Ken Shamrock takes on Kimo in the Superfight.

We are live from the Rubén Rodríguez Coliseum. Your hosts are Bruce Beck, Jeff Blatnick and Don Wilson.

‘David vs Goliath’ Tournament Quarter Final
Don Frye vs Thomas Ramirez

You should know the gimmick, big guy versus little guy, size vs skill, bulk versus…ah you know what I mean. Frye comes in with a background in wrestling, judo and boxing. It might come as a shock but Frye is actually the ‘David’ here as his opponent comes in at 410 lbs. Ramirez, being from Puerto Rico, gets a huge pop but that ain’t gonna save him.

Oh No! It’s Rich Goins! My ears are bleeding already. Where the hell is Bruce Buffer when you need him?

Anyway onto the fight. Crowd are pumped for this. They both connect to begin with. Frye moves forward, connects with a right that brings Ramirez crashing down in 8 seconds! Crowd goes silent.

Awesome knockout for Frye (one of the quickest in UFC history) he moves on to the semi finals.

‘David vs Goliath’ Tournament Quarter Final
Joe Moreira vs Paul Varelans

UFC 7 runner up Varelans returns after being submitted by Dan Severn at the Ultimate Ultimate and comes in with a 95 lbs weight advantage. He takes on newcomer Moreira who has a 6th degree black belt in Jiu Jitsu and a 3rd degree black belt in Judo. Announcers mention that Varelans has a new cautious approach to fighting. Oh boy.

They circle to begin before engaging in the clinch. Moreira lands a right while escaping the clinch. They circle before clinching up once again. They break away and start throwing punches at each other. More circling and again they clinch. I’m seeing a pattern here. Yet more circling but Varelans does connect with a left hand. Ugh this is becoming tedious and the crowd are starting to agree with me. Moreira goes in for the clinch but Varelans starts swinging widely, Moreira backs up but lands a good right hand as Varelans gives chase. More circling follows with both only throwing leg kicks. Again they tie up, break up and circle some more. Weak takedown attempt by Moreira followed by MORE circling. Moreira tries the takedown again but it’s blocked. Varelans throws some punches to close the fight.

We go to the judges (one of them being Stephen Quadros) all three give it to Varelans. Horrible fight!

‘David vs Goliath’ Tournament Quarter Final
Jerry Bohlander vs Scott Ferrozzo

Lion’s Den fighter Bohlander comes into this fight at 200 lbs while Pit fighter Ferrozzo comes in at 330 lbs.

Both are slow coming out of their corners. Leg kick by Bohlander, Ferrozzo comes charging in and pushes Bohlander up against the fence and starts throwing punches. Botched suplex attempt by Ferrozzo but lands a clean one second time trying and now has the back. Bohlander manages to bring them back to their feet but Ferrozzo goes for the guillotine but Bohlander is in no danger and manages to escape. Ferrozzo again pushes Bohlander up against the cage. Bohlander lands a headbutt and know goes for his own guillotine choke. Ferrozzo manages to break free and continues to push Bohlander up against the fence. Ferrozzo throws Bohlander to the ground and is in the smaller fighter’s guard. Bit of lay and pray follows so McCarthy restarts them on their feet. Ferrozzo again comes charging and pushes Bohlander up against the cage. Again McCarthy steps in due to lack of action. Again Bohlander finds himself being pushed up against the octagon. Ferrozzo goes for the throw again but ends up getting chocked out via a guillotine choke.

Decent fight here, Bohlander was overpowered and took a lot of punishment but he held on and caught Ferrozzo when he got tired and sloppy.

David vs Goliath’ Tournament Quarter Final
Paul Herrera vs Gary Goodridge

Herrera comes in at 185 lbs, the smallest fighter in the tournament and trains with Tank Abbott. ‘Big Daddy’ comes in at 258 lbs and wearing a black gig.

Herrera immediately takes the centre and shoots but Goodridge sprawls and Herrera suddenly finds himself in a crucifix. HOLY FUCK!!! REPEATED ELBOWS TO THE HEAD OF HERRERA!!! HE’S OUT!!!

Holy shit! That is one of the most brutal knockouts I’ve ever seen in MMA. If you haven’t seen it stop reading right now and look it up as words simply don’t do it justice.

It is announced that Varelans is unable to compete due to injury so alternate Sam Adkins takes his place.

‘David vs Goliath’ Tournament Semi Final
Don Frye vs Sam Adkins

Boxer, Adkins had an easy victory in his alternate bout so like Frye he should be still fresh.

They both throw a couple of jabs before Frye gets the single leg takedown. Frye now throws punches to the back of the head before moving into side control. Frye continues to throw punches on a now bloody Adkins before McCarthy steps in to stop it.

Bloody hell! Two fights in less than a minute. It’s obvious that Frye is a step above the other fighters in terms of skill.

‘David vs Goliath’ Tournament Semi Final
Gary Goodridge vs Jerry Bohlander

I’d be shitting myself right now if I was Bohlander.

Bohlander goes for the shoot, Goodridge stuff it and goes for the guillotine choke but Bohlander breaks free. They clinch up against the fence, Goodridge manages to get a waistlock and goes for a suplex but Bohlander drops to the mat to avoid it. Goodridge now has side control and goes for full mount but Bohlander manages to get him in his guard. Bohlander sweeps Goodridge and gets half guard. Goodridge tries to buck him off but ends up mounted. Bohlander starts to throw punches from the top, Goodridge again tries to buck him off but Bohlander maintains the mount. Goodridge manages to overpower the smaller Bohlander and ends up in his guard. Big right hand by Goodridge as he steps out of the guard. Bohlander looks for an ankle lock but Goodridge lands a couple more big right hands to the head, McCarthy stops the fight there.

Really good, back and forth fight. The strength of Goodridge proved too much for Bohlander in the end. So it’s Frye and Goodridge in the finals. Awesome!

Kimo vs Ken Shamrock

Dan Severn joins us on commentary as he gets the winner at UFC 9.

Kimo makes his first appearance since his legendary UFC 3 bout against Royce Gracie. Shamrock is coming off a draw against Oleg Taktarov at UFC 7.

Kimo immediately takes the centre of the Octagon. He throws a body kick but Shamrock catches it and gets the takedown. Side control for Shamrock but Kimo manages to bring him back to half guard. Shamrock lands some strikes from the top before moving to mount. Kimo however manages to overpower Shamrock and is know in half guard, landing some headbutts. Shamrock manages to get Kimo back to full guard. Kimo postures up and misses a big right as Shamrock goes for the ankle lock. Kimo tries to avoid but know Shamrock has a kneebar which proves too much for Kimo as he taps out.

Well whaddya know, a Superfight that didn’t suck. This was a pretty good fight and defiantly Shamrock’s best performance in the octagon at this point. He now goes on to face Dan Severn at UFC 9. Yeah less said about that the better.

Tank Abbott might not be on the card but that doesn’t’ stop him fighting. Just before the finals the camera cuts to a brawl outside of the Octagon featuring the Tank. Some poor sap gets a chair thrown at him as well. Hilarious!

Anyway on to the finals…

‘David vs Goliath’ Tournament Finals
Gary Goodridge vs Don Frye

Goodridge comes in without the gi this time.

Here we go! Frye comes forward with some jabs as they clinch up against the cage. Goodridge gets a waistlock, Frye lands some elbows to the head. Goodridge throws Frye to the ground and just misses a head kick. They clinch again, Frye lands some good uppercuts but Goodridge pushes him up against the fence. Goodridge goes for the double leg takedown but Frye hold on to the octagon. Goodridge eventually gets the takedown and gets the back but Frye trips him up and know lands some punches from the guard. Goodridge taps and Don Frye is the UFC 8 champion!

Goodridge put up a good fight but Frye was just too much for him in the end. What an impressive debut for Frye. He pretty much destroyed everyone in his path. You really do have to credit him and others like Marco Ruas for evolving the sport. Before these guys came in you had Gracie, the ju jitsu guy, Severn, the wrestler and all these other one dimensional fighters. Frye was one of the first true mixed martial artists and his impressive performances back in those days opened up a lot of eyes. I don’t care what problems he has with Dana White and the UFC these days. The man needs to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The 411: Really good show here, probably the best the UFC had put on at the time. Aside from the Varelans fight everything else is awesome. Huge recommendation
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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Jamie Meikle
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